Wanderers (9 RP)

Wanderers

Table of contents

General description

Wanderers are a nomadic and spiritual race, known for embarking on great pilgrimages. Though some wanderers chronicle their lives, little is known about their origins. Some believe them to bear the spirits of exiled people, others that their arrival to a town is an omen. Even more, however, simply see them as refugees from some distant land. For wanderers, it matters little what others think — they are not strangers to the charity and unkindness of others.

Wanderers devote their lives to a specific cause. Though many worship one or more gods, they are rarely interested in converting others — not in the traditional sense, at least. Wanderers believe more in action than in words, believing that if they show others their goodness (or ruthlessness, in the case of evil wanderers), others will convert of their own volition.

But not all wanderers are religious. Many worship nature or simply wish to see the world, having been born and raised on the open road. They will pick up odd jobs in exchange for shelter or a warm meal. Spellcaster wanderers will even spend their years using their magical arts to serve others. No matter their calling, wanderers are rarely found to be traveling alone.

Wanderers care little for material possessions, carrying only what they need on their travels and selling or donating the rest. As they rarely spend more than a few months at a time in any particular place, wanderers desire to leave their unique mark. Afterward, it’s back onto the road for them.

Physical description

For creatures unfamiliar with a wanderer’s altruistic nature, their appearance can be frightening. Wanderers stand over six feet tall, they have curved horns, and their eyes (including the sclera) are a single color.

In an effort to appear less threatening, wanderers typically hunch over. Upset a wanderer, though, and you will find just how tall they stand.

Wanderers drape themselves in cloaks to protect them from the weather and have long tails that brush behind them. Their hands and feet are clawed, with their nails growing thick and twisted.

They have thick fur that keeps them warm in cooler climates. Their fur comes in black, grays, and white, and can bear mesmerizing patterns, as though a wizard drew arcane symbols upon them. Browns and reds are less common fur colors for wanderers.

A wanderer’s horns are made of bone. Their eyes can be any color but are commonly black, white, and yellow.

Society

Few sights inspire awe like that of a group of wanderers filing into a town, their cloaked heads bowed in respect and their hands held out in offering. But such is the life of wanderers, whom pledge their lives in servitude of others.

From a young age, wanderers are on the move, traveling through unfamiliar lands meeting people with whom they often do not share a common language. Some are subjected to the worst of men, beaten or cursed at in the streets. But many more see the charity of others — and a great, unending need in the communities they find.

Little can be said of wanderer society. As a race, they are geographically spread across the lands and readily adopt the customs of other cultures. Few travel alone, but those that do study religious texts and pass their days in meditation, with no knowledge of cultures or social norms, or even of the ebbing tides of war and politics.

What is known is this: Wanderers give a great deal of care to their young and elderly. They are practical, have steely minds, and an incredible endurance. Though regarded by some as celestial or hellish outsiders, wanderers rarely regard themselves as such. However, they are acutely aware of the mysteries behind their origins and oftentimes turn to religion to widen their understanding of the world.

Most wanderer tribes maintain a code of conduct. But there can be a great amount of variance between these codes from one tribe to another. Some wanderer tribes, in fact, adopt the chaotic societal norms that orcs follow. This, in part, is why wanderers are so downtrodden — not only do they appear intimidating, but it is never certain whether the nomads entering a town have malicious intent.

On the road, wanderers enjoy the changing landscapes and do a great deal of hunting and gathering. In fact, it is said wanderers are to thank for the many books chronicling the natural world. But cities are what really fascinate wanderers. They often take to the open markets and admire the bustle. That is, when they aren’t busying themselves with tending to the sick or working their odd jobs.

That said, wanderers have a strong work ethic. Though they often only stay in towns for months at a time, they form incredible bonds with the communities they serve.

Owed to their nomadic lifestyle, wanderers tend not to keep many belongings on them. That does not mean they shun wealth — they simply know that whatever items they keep will need to be carried or dragged behind them.

No matter their alignment, wanderers commonly bury their dead in an unmarked grave by the road. To them, death is not an ending — rather, it is the bridge to greater roads.

Relations

Wanderers have such varied reputations that it can be difficult to tell how they might be received by others. However, they are a patient race and share common ground with the downtrodden and misplaced.

Among social circles, wanderers blend in especially well with the church and lower classes. Superstitious or deeply religious creatures might suspect them of being divine, and a wanderer might need to take strides in order to correct expectations.

Within adventuring parties, wanderers can get along with just about anyone. So long as the group respects his religious leanings and his charitable nature, a wanderer can stomach even the most rambunctious party. In fact, he might very well take pleasure in cleaning up after them.

Alignment and religion

Wanderers can be played as any alignment. They are direct products of their travels, their tribes, and the people and cultures they encounter.

Within their nomadic groups, wanderers grow to have a deep respect for the elderly, and care dearly for them in their final years. Beyond this, they don’t hold certain people in a higher regard. Though they might recognize a nobleman’s status, for instance, they will hold them to no lower or higher standard than a beggar.

Further, while wanderers might take good care in respecting the customs of a society, they can hesitate in following laws or traditions that conflict with their personal ideologies. For a druid wanderer, even pretending to have little regard for nature for the sake of winning the favor of a public figure might be beyond their temperament.

Good-aligned wanderers make it their personal mission to care for others or the natural world. They often look to leave a mark wherever they travel. They might recruit new members to the local church, rally villagers to a cause, or simply ward off evil creatures. If a wanderer deeply cares for a certain villager or organization, they might even send regular payments in order to support them over time.

Evil wanderers, on the other hand, commonly recruit tribesmen or clan members to their cause. They favor individuals whose strengths balance their weaknesses, and vice versa. They give careful thought to their schemes, too.

They might choose to spread disease before attacking a village, poison its food supply, or cut it off from communication by hunting down messengers and merchants in the area. Evil clerics might even disguise themselves as good worshipers and use a town to performance their sacraments.

Good-aligned wanderers worship gods of community, liberation, protection, travel, and weather. Evil wanderers lean toward gods of destruction, chaos, death, and war.

Adventurers

Wanderers often travel in groups. Among those that travel alone, many do so on pilgrimages, as pathfinders, or on a personal quest called onto them by a dream or meditation. Others are called to serve a greater purpose, whether for their deity or the natural world.

Given their nomadic lifestyles, wanderers take up all kinds of jobs in exchange for food and shelter. But their altruistic nature can lead them to undertake challenging work. They might agree to assist the town guard in tracking down an evildoer or risk their health to uncover the mystery behind a spreading ailment.

Even then, wanderers are aware and honest of their shortcomings. To them, it is better to be upfront and to find a compromise than to overpromise or lie. After all, if they upset the local people, they might find themselves booted from the town, stuck on the open road in dangerous territory.

As adventurers, they take a central role in the party, acting as the group’s moral compass and caretaker. Their hearty nature means they can withstand the grueling life of an adventurer, while their personal calls to action and relative restlessness when at rest means the party will always have some place new to travel.

More materialistic adventurers might be annoyed by the wanderer’s willingness to do favors without expecting anything but good will or a favor in return. And while a hotheaded party member can be problematic for the wanderer, a mutual respect between them could mean the wanderer creates opportunities where — to put it simply — a barbarian can rage without creating conflict within the group.

No matter the party composition, wanderers are a welcome addition. They are trustworthy and thoughtful companions whose mental fortitude and heartiness can help the party endure the toughest challenges.

Wanderers favor the following classes: cleric, druid, oracle, and sorcerer

Wanderer names

Culturally, wanderers have no established naming conventions. Most often, a wanderer child will be named in accordance to the conventions of whatever regions or religion he was born into.

Wanderer racial traits

Type: Humanoid (Wanderer)
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Wanderers are strong in body and mind, but their appearance can be off-putting to creatures unfamiliar with them.
Medium: Wanderers are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow and Steady: Wanderers have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Empath: Wanderers are accustomed to being feared and strive to correct misconceptions about their race. They receive a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks made to change the initial attitude of nonplayer characters.
Cultured Survivalist: Wanderers must not only survive the dangers of the natural world but navigate the social intricacies of the towns they visit. Wanderers receive a +2 racial bonus on Survival and Knowledge (local) checks.
Seasoned Traveler: Wanderers spend their lives on the open road, traversing over rough landscapes and enduring harsh climates. They gain Endurance as a bonus feat.
Darkvision: Wanderers can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Languages: Wanderers begin play speaking Common. Wanderers with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want, except secret languages.

Alternate racial bonuses

Some wanderers are touched by the gods or are born with social talents that draw others to their cohort. These kinds of wanderers are split into two groups: those whose connection to the gods have blessed or cursed them, and those that have an aptitude for the arts.

Those from the former are thought to have a closer connection to their supposed divine origins. Those from the latter have an aura about them that draws people in. They are naturally creative, allowing them to empower others through the arts rather than through servitude.

These wanderers have +2 Charisma, +2 Constitution, and -2 Dexterity. These ability bonuses modify those granted by this race.

Alternate racial traits

The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

Daunting: Wanderers who spend their days among more foul creatures learn to use their fearsome appearance to coerce others. Wanderers gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks made to coerce others. This racial trait replaces empath.

Ferocity: Wanderers who spend years in unsafe territories learn to persevere even in dire moments. Once per day, when a wanderer is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, he can fight on for 1 more round as if disabled. At the end of his next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, he immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.

This racial trait replaces seasoned traveler.

True Survivalist: Some wanderers are drawn more to the natural world than to crowded towns and cities, and thus know more about plants and animals than people. Wanderers with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks. This racial trait replaces cultured survivalist.

Favored class options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

Bard: Add +1 to the bard’s total number of bardic performance rounds per day.
Cleric: Add +1 on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders.
Druid: Add +1/2 to the druid’s wild empathy bonus.
Oracle: Add +1/6 to the oracle’s level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation.
Sorcerer: Add +1/2 to either cold or fire resistance (maximum resistance 10 for either type).

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